|Name||Watch: Nike+ Sportswatch GPS Powered by TomTom|
|At a glance:||Recognition (or ‘Attaboys’) for personal records,Run history with data from past runs,Heart rate monitor compatibility|
|Summary:||A great entry- and mid-level sports watch for runners wanting to track their progress.|
|RRP:||$199 (anthracite/blue glow edition), $219 (black/volt edition)|
In my quest for the perfect running watch, I have probably spent nearly as many hours reading online reviews of this type of device than I’ve actually spent running. I am pretty familiar with the dashboards and data displayed by the different brands, and know all about the heartache of the runner who realises that entire mile they ran in the rain wasn’t actually tracked because the GPS had to stop to locate satellites.
One of the most outstanding features of the Nike+ GPS sports watch by TomTom is the absence of that heartache. Unlike many runners I know, who use a number of other devices, I did not have to walk up and down my driveway for minutes waiting for it to locate satellites. In fact, I only had to walk about 30 to 40 metres before the watch warned me it was ready to start tracking me and I had no excuse not to run anymore.
It’s a simple device and the ease of use is definitely one of its main appeals. It’s bad enough you’re battling both the elements and your desire to go back to the couch while you’re out there running – you don’t need a complex device to fiddle around with at the same time. This watch has three buttons and those are really the only three buttons you need. Those buttons will give you all the information you require about your run. On-watch features include backlight (activated by tapping the screen), stopwatch, alarm, your running history and personal records, among a number of live stats about your run such as average pace, time lapsed, calories, etc. On top of that, it also comes with an optional shoe-based Nike+ Sensor, and is compatible with heart rate monitors.
Once you’re done with your run, pat yourself on the back, have a shower and plug your watch into your computer. The software will automatically upload your running data onto the website and display it neatly with a map of your run and additional information about your performance.
If one of your friends wants to borrow your watch, and you’re generous enough to part ways with it for a few days, the factory reset and profile integration option via the desktop app is very user-friendly and takes only a few seconds. After each factory reset, the device will automatically recognise the profile of whoever logged in last, and you can edit your information on the app without any hassles.
Battery life is okay, not amazing. It lasted me about a week on standby with a couple of five-kilometre runs in between. The watch is the perfect size, not uncomfortably big but also not so small that you can’t quickly glance at your numbers without slowing your pace. The wrist band, however, could be too short for bigger wrists so it pays to try it out before buying. The little USB clasp built into the bracelet also appears to be a bit fragile. I haven’t had the watch long enough for it to break, but I do feel the need to be extra careful when using it.
For around $200 (price varies depending on your colour preference), this seems to be the perfect watch for beginner and intermediate road and trail warriors out there.